Sweet No woke up at 5.45 in the morning. My first thought was, "Should I go to the gym?". My decision was tempered by the fact that my head was still swimming from not enough sleep over the weekend, made worse by a genuinely lazy heart. "Um... no." Rolling over and catching another hour/hour and a half of sleep certainly seemed like the better course of action, and so it was.
At 7.30 I was faced with my next decision. Should I get up now, or skip the shower (come on, I had one at 9.00 last night) and cuddle up to the cat for another 30 minutes? Yeah, you guessed... the cat was unmercifully squeezed until the alarm went off again.
It's 8.00. I must get my shit rolling. The job starts at 9.00 and it is a 25 minute commute in the best of times... and hitting the city at 8.25 is NOT THE BEST OF TIMES. Out the door at 8.20, this doesn't look good. The ground is wet, it's been raining. Damn. You don't have your umbrella. Double Damn. Well, it isn't raining NOW, that is cool. YEA!
Next decision. IF you take the bus leaving at 8.20, you will get to the office at about 9.00. Um, and that is if things go well. IF you take Mimi (the Vespa scooter - yeah, she has a name.... you got a problem with that?), you will hit city traffic at its worst, but get there about 8.45. Oh... and do I hear it? Yes, that is what I think it is... the bus is now pulling out and away from the bus stop. Right on time wouldn't you know it? And I am two blocks away. Bye bye bus, and the next one would get me there late. Oh well, so much for that decision. Alrighty then, Mimi is looking better and better. Of course it COULD be raining between here and there. Um. F**k it. Take a chance.
Hop on Mimi and within two blocks come across cars standing in line... in an area they NEVER stand in line. They are simply trying to CROSS a major street. Whoops, it looks like it will be a VERY heavy traffic day.
No problem for Mimi and I. We just pop out of line and pass the group (yes, in the oncoming lane... no, there were no cars coming... yes I know this is a bit iffy, but you have to know the neighborhood I am talking about to know that this is no problem). The cross street was crazy and it looked as though the problem was the highway interchange. Maybe it had to be closed for some reason, and folks were confused about that. Either way it was a mess and I was happy to be crossing that street, not driving down it.
About eight blocks later I ran into the next problem. Another long line of cars, backed up way beyond the normal locations and blocking the way for me to even see if the highway at the crux of the problem. I skipped into the bus lane (yes, you are guessing right... this is not something people should be doing) to go around the majority of the stopped traffic but eventually had to merge back into the regular lanes because the bus lane ended.
I was now sitting at the traffic light seeing the winding line of stationary tail lights stretch out for as far as I could see. The last two green lights at my intersection moved our line three car lengths and had me considering what my boss would say if she actually beat me into the office (she's always at least 30 minutes late - one of the perks of being the boss). I was giving myself the "you should know better" speech when I heard a scooter approaching my position from behind. I expected to see him in my side mirror, creeping up between the cars... but NO... he was cruising by me quickly on the bike lane! YES, he had jumped off the street and started down the sidewalk-based bike lane to get away from the traffic. Oh baby THAT's the ticket!
At the next opportunity I was cruising down the lane right behind him, it felt just like Amsterdam where the scooters use the bike paths all the time. We passed at least three miles (almost five km) of bumper to bumper, immobile traffic. There is no way for me to express my happiness while speeding past all of those cars. Elation is probably the only word which really fits.
(Now before you think I'm very bad, remember that the skies looked like it would pour rain any moment, and there simply weren't that many bikes out. Throughout our entire little trip, we didn't pass a single bike.)
When the bike path ran out and there was no bus lane anymore, we were forced to get back into the regular traffic lanes although we were very lucky and slipped right in at the front of the line. Thankfully here is where the worst of the traffic jam ended, sweet! As we sat there with him in front and me to his rear I noticed that he was looking in his mirror at me with the most cute look of "ha ha, we did it" on his face. I must have had the same look because may I say I was really feeling it. Then we gave each other the thumbs up sign and at the next green light we cruised off to our respective destinations.
Oh yeah, I made it to work with 10 minutes to spare... and yeah, the subway would have had me there about the same time. But it wouldn't have been as much fun.
"Blame it on the train, but the bus is already there."
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